the community site for and by developmental biologists

Recombine to get better

Posted by on September 6th, 2010

Recently a paper in Science caught my attention since its title combines the words mitotic recombination with patients and Ichthyosis. Having worked with Drosophila during my PhD and now being in a vertebrate lab, I’m well aware of the existence of tools to induce mitotic recombination to generate somatic clones of mutant cells in certain[…]

Arabidopsis song

Posted by on September 6th, 2010

“Why are there no pop hits about Arabidopsis?” sings Karmadillo. Even though their Arabidopsis song is not a pop hit (yet?) either, Karmadillo can at least lay claim to the honour of having performed it alongside other science-themed songs on the “Reproductive Stage” at the virtual 2010 Geek Pop festival. The song celebrates Arabidopsis as[…]

BioEYES: Inspiring Youth to Pursue Science

Posted by on September 3rd, 2010

by Valerie Butler Most of us, I’m sure, can remember that AHA moment in school when we realized that science is pretty cool. Imagine how it might be for a student enrolled in a school lacking the resources to teach science well, or who was never given the opportunity to excel in anything, let alone[…]

Evolution of cerebral cortex traced back to Precambrian era

Posted by on September 2nd, 2010

In a paper published today in Cell, Detlev Arendt, Raju Tomer and colleagues reveal evidence that the cerebral cortex evolved much earlier than previously believed. Using a new technique to detect and image simultaneously expressed genes in a compact brain area, they discovered that the gene expression patterns in the olfactory processing region (mushroom bodies)[…]

Phenologs and unlikely models

Posted by on September 1st, 2010

“You’re probably wondering why I’m here”, were the first words of Edward Marcotte’s talk at the SDB meeting last month. After all, he was about to speak about systems biology in a session on organogenesis. What followed was not only a new way to identify genes involved in developmental processes, but also a perfect example[…]

U.S. Judge Halts Federal Funding of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research

Posted by on August 26th, 2010

Many human embryonic stem cell (hESC) researchers are now scrambling for funding and concerned about the future of their research, following a recent ruling in the United States by Chief Judge Royce C. Lamberth.  To understand this ruling, both how it came about and its implications moving forward, it’s important to take a look at[…]

microRNAs and Music – an interview with Eric Olson

Posted by on August 24th, 2010

At the recent SDB meeting in Albuquerque, Eric Olson took the stage twice: on Friday morning he spoke in the organogenesis session about the role of microRNAs in muscle, and on Sunday evening he entertained the attendees of the conference’s closing ceremony with his band, the Transactivators. In between these two performances, I asked him[…]

In Development this week (Volume 137, Issue 18)

Posted by on August 24th, 2010

Non-muscle myosin II translates cilia polarity In the brain, cilia on the multiciliated ependymal cells that line the brain ventricles circulate cerebrospinal fluid over the brain surface. To generate this directional fluid flow, the ependymal cell cilia and their basal bodies must be orientated in one direction. This ‘rotational’ polarity is regulated by the planar[…]

Zebrafish embryo pics

Posted by on August 20th, 2010

Worth 1000 words? http://blogs.nature.com/news/thegreatbeyond/2010/08/a_zebrafishs_first_minutes_of.html [update 31/8: I added the first of the videos (below) – Eva] (The original paper is in Science) (+2 rating, 2 votes) Loading…

Supplementary?

Posted by on August 19th, 2010

It seems that following on the tracks of Cell Press, which is reducing the maximum number of supplemental figures to one per manuscript figure, now J. Neuroscience is doing away with it altogether. Hooray? I agree that it is not a very good thing at times that the amount of Suppl Figs has risen (or[…]